Thanks for the letter Nicola

It would be a shame if MNZ folded after all the hard work that has gone into
getting it this far, but the fact that this is a possibility must raise some
fundamental questions. It seems the desire for professional registration has
been the focus of the two founding organisations (MINZI, TMNZ) as well as
MNZ. While I can completely understand the motivation of those pursuing
this course, I do not think it necessarily represents the desires or needs
of the majority of practising therapists or their clients. I am a member of
MNZ despite rather than because of this focus on registration and personally
have no interest in this goal whatsoever. I realise I am only one opinion,
but maybe it is one shared by others who have not been tempted to join the
organisation.

Perhaps MNZ needs to decide whether it wants to be an organisation that
creates accreditation and registration of therapists and limit its member
accordingly or does it want to draw as many already practising therapists to
its ranks as possible? If the former goal is desired as indicated by your
letter then rather than attracting therapists to MNZ I would suggest it
alienates many.

If registration were in place, then I presume all therapists would have to
be RMT or CMT in order to legally practise? There are a huge number of
therapists (if not the majority) who fall between the “6 weeks night class
type” and a RMT or CMT. Those therapists, who may run successful practises
and have satisfied clients, have little incentive to join an organisation
that is creating yet another hurdle and cost for them that neither they nor
their clients need.

I don’t think it’s useful to get into a debate about the benefits of
registration by email, but I would say that for every argument you put
forward for it in your letter, there are equally valid arguments against.

Even among those doing the 6 weeks night classes there will be people with a
natural ability for massage who should be welcomed into the industry (and
MNZ) supported and encouraged to further their skills and learning. Some of
the initiatives that Christine mentions in her reply such creating local
groups to help each other and invite other therapists along to, seem to me
what the core business of MNZ should be. This is already happening here in
the top of the South Island thanks to the energy of a few key people.

It seems a huge amount of time and energy has been put in by MINZI, TMNZ and
MNZ pursuing the registration/ACC accreditation/qualification standard goals
and I can’t help but wonder if all that energy had been put into nurturing,
supporting networking and encouraging the people working in our industry,
whether we might not now have a more healthy and vibrant organisation.

I am not trying to be disparage the efforts that have been put in by so many
over the years, but I do think if MNZ is to continue as a representative
body for therapists and wishes to attract more therapists then a change of
focus might be in order.

Paul Kerr

Relaxstation
CMB 56
Punakaiki
R D 1 Runanga
Westland 7873
Ph: (03) 7311 846
email: relaxstation AT ts DOT co DOT nz

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